April 23, 2024

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Organizers of the Awong Chi Gangsa are inviting more Kalinga men and women to participate in the “Call for a Thousand Gongs and Dance of a Thousand Pots” on Feb. 15 as it attempts for a spot in Guinness Book of World Records.

The Awong Chi Gangsa Committee is making rounds in the seven municipalities and the city of Tabuk to orient local government unit officials about the activity and seek for their full participation.

The “Awong Chi Gangsa, Agtu’n Chi Banga” is a highlight of the 28th Kalinga founding anniversary and 4th Bodong Festival. It will start at 1 p.m. on Feb. 15 with dancers at the end forming a dove as symbol of peace.

Bishop Prudencio Andaya Jr. of the Apostolic Vicariate of Tabuk and committee chair of the Awong Chi Gangsa, said the Call for a Thousand Gongs and Dance of a Thousand Pots or the “Awong Chi Gangsa, Agtu’n Chi Banga” beckons every Kalinga to realize the fulfillment of the dream for peace, and at the same time to highlight the culture that has been preserved all throughout the generations.

He said lasting peace among the sub-tribes in Kalinga has always been a dream. 

“Peace can be achieved if our minds and hearts as people of Kalinga are united as one people like we do when we dance with the rhythm of the gongs. As we remind ourselves, we also speak to the world that there is a deep potential for lasting peace and unity here in Kalinga to be realized,” Andaya said.

The Awong Chi Gangsa, Andaya’s brainchild, has been featured  in the 2014 and 2015 celebration of Kalinga Day.

The prelate said for this year’s staging, the “Agtu’n Chi Banga”, a dance role given to women has been added to balance gender involvement and aims to revive and promote the local pottery industry.

“Our women shall dance with the pots on their heads, the pot being the symbol of Kalinga cultural hospitality which is very unique among the cultural communities in our country. While we value the touristic aspect of this event, we cannot deny this can raise the consciousness of our people to work for lasting peace and unity among the cultural communities,” he said.

He invites all Kalinga men to play their gongs at the same place and time and with the same rhythm, as the role of Kalinga women as partners and vanguards of the culture will also be highlighted.

“This year, we look forward for a wider participation among our tribal communities, which we hope would surpass the number of dancers during the Awong Chi Gangsa 2014 and 2015,” the Bishop said.

The event in 2014 involved 1,430 gong players while in 2015, there were 1,786 gong players together with their female counterparts that participated in the Awong Chi Gangsa. – Peter Balocnit